We've been riding a huge health-kick wave that, I'm happy to report, we've really enjoyed being on. It wasn't meant to coincide with a New Year's resolution, it just happened to be that way. We've agreed to make about 90% of what we eat from scratch, and that remaining 10% is things that take a long time and some facilities, equipment that we just don't have right now - things like cheese and Greek yogurt among a couple of other things. (Okay, the Greek yogurt one is not so tough to make but we go through it like crazy and I frankly don't have the time. It's a luxury thing).
The other day, Richard made these amazing chickpea flour crackers because for some reason, I didn't realize how much I love crackers until I stopped buying them. Chickpea flour, which is what these are predominately made from, is relatively inexpensive (like 3 bucks for a bag) and can be found in the flours section of Whole Foods or the hippie section of most grocery stores. It's literally just chickpeas that are pulverized and forced into making something that resembles flour. I always add some to veggie burgers for extra protein and fiber and now, we make crackers with them.
I started out the same way that he did - with chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil and then added flaxseed meal, cornmeal, amaranth and flax seeds, to give the texture a little extra oomph. I then dusted the crackers with some Middle Eastern spices like za'atar, sumac, and Nigella seeds because I thought they'd pair so nicely with the chickpea flour. These were so addicting. Extra crispy and with a great heartiness and nutty flavor. I made a dip for them but to be honest, we found ourselves just snacking on them straight up. They are very easy to make, the only tricky part that I found was in rolling them out. When I declared to Richard that these are so easy to make, but that rolling them out was a little challenging (the dough tends to be a bit sticky), he said that he had no problem with that because he rolled it our in between two pieces of parchment paper. Duh! That makes so much sense and I felt so silly for not thinking of it myself...
Homemade Middle Eastern Crackers
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup amaranth or millet (optional)
1/8 cup flax seeds
1 1/4 cup chickpea flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon of Middle Eastern spices (I used a blend of za'atar, sumac and Nigella seeds but this is optional, or make your own blend)
Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed meal, cornmeal, amaranth or millet (if using) and flax seeds. Add in the chickpea flour, olive oil and salt. Add just enough water so that a thick dough, resembling cookie dough, forms - about a cup. Kneed the dough with your hands and shape it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least 30 minutes.
Clear a work surface and lay down a piece of parchment paper. Dust the parchment with extra chickpea flour and then add the dough and follow with another dusting of chickpea flour and another piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it's as thin as you can get it. Remove top piece of parchment paper and cut into desired shape. Lightly coat the crackers with olive oil, evenly dust with salt and Middle Eastern spices. Transfer the crackers to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake the crackers for about 20 minutes, or until they start to brown and have gotten crispy. Transfer to a cooling rack.